Warming, spicy, slow-cooked lamb stew

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Slow cookers are truly amazing. The boeuf bourguignon I made years ago still makes my mouth water at the very thought, and I also have very fond memories of my sweet and savoury lamb tagine.

I’ve been laid up with a bit of a cold and flu for the last couple of days, so I’ve been resting and recuperating as much as possible. Dosing myself with Lemsip and oodles of tea has helped, but what I really wanted was something to warm me from the inside out. And that’s when I remembered the slow cooker, which has been stashed in a drawer for the past few months – unloved and unused.

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‘This won’t do!’ I thought, as I put my mind to work. I ran through tens of potential recipes, involving chicken, coconut milk, Oriental flavours, beef mince, and more. And then I remembered the nifty box of spices I received a while back from Spice Kitchen UK, and wondered if I could put it to use. Lo and behold, it included some Ras El Hanout, and so my decision was made. Luckily, the grocery shop is right across the road, so the energy expended to buy a couple more ingredients was minimal (though I did have to lie down for a bit afterwards!).

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This recipe is essentially a variation on my previous lamb tagine – I didn’t feel like the sweet and savoury mix this time, so it’s just full of warming spices. And whilst I expected the lamb to become tender, I couldn’t believe what happened after 8 hours… It. Fell. Right. Off. The. Bone. Literally. It was an amazing feeling, and I would cook this dish again just to experience that!

Serves 4-6 people. Time in slow cooker: 8 hours

  • 1kg lamb shoulder, bone-in
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tin chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium-sized onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1.5 inches ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 dried red chilis, broken in half
  • 1.5 tsp Ras El Hanout (I got mine from Spice Kitchen UK)
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika powder
  • 1.5 tsp of coarse sel gris
  • 1.5 tsp table salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground red chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cube of beef stock
  • 1 litre of water

The beauty of the slow cooker is that the only instructions I have to give are those for chopping the vegetables!

After you’ve placed your piece of meat in the slow cooker, simply add everything else on top. Stir a bit, and then cook on low heat for 8 hours. Serve on a bed of couscous, garnish with yogurt and a smattering of fresh herbs on top, and feel truly warmed from the inside out!

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Adding the chickpeas, onions, garlic, and ginger

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And all the other ingredients right on top

The finished product

The finished product

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